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Duterte: I don’t want to be dictator

CAGAYAN, Philippines- President Rodrigo Duterte in his visit in Santa Ana, Cagayan on Wednesday, March 14, reiterated  he does not aim to be a dictator should the country finalize its transition into a federal government.

Duterte said he wants to retire earlier, saying he might step down in 2020 because he is already “tired.”

“Don’t believe in that bull**** that I aim to be a dictator…Ayaw kong maging diktador. I am tired and I want to retire,” Duterte said as he faced the crowd in Port Irene.

The 72-year old former Davao City Mayor also shot down rumors he will cling to power beyond his term.

“Sabi nila na ako ay mag-take advantage sa any changes in the constitution. Let me assure you today, remember this. If by 2022, we could have perfected the [federalis] structure and we can move ahead, and if it is already by June, I still have until 2022, but if it calls for an election of a president, I will step down immediately,” Duterte said.

“So wag kayong matakot, wag kayong matakot sa oposisyon na yan. Believe me,” he added.

The President flew via helicopter to Port Irene here to witness the public condemnation and destruction of 14 contraband luxury cars on hold by Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).

This activity, CEZA administrator lawyer Raul Lambino said, aims to send a strong message against smugglers that the government is firm in cracking down illegal acts.

No divisions

In his speech, the President also promised there will be no divisions during his term. He even showed a photo, which has been his official Facebook account’s cover photo, that his remarks during the Marawi siege,”Not during my watch.”

“I hope we do not create something big enough to destroy the unity of our country…There can never be a division in this country as long as I am president. Kaya talagang double time ako,” Duterte said.

He likewise reiterated he will value the constitution, a document that “governs” and “binds” Filipinos.

“It was our forefathers who decided long-before that even in the midst of multiple tribes and different languages, sana sumulat tayo ng isang constitution that is represented by the flag. You start to mess up with this constitution and the flag, [you] will destroy the nation forever,” he said.

Duterte also reiterated his earlier order to the army to “shoot” him if he violates the constitution.

“Sabi ko nga sa military, if you think that I am violating the constitution, or if I am overstaying there even for a minute, shoot me there, oust me. Yan ang ma-guarantee ko sa inyo,” the outspoken president said.

Meanwhile, the President also hit communist rebels and relayed why peace talks were cut.

“Itong mga komunista, if you sum it all, hinihingi kasi nila yung coalition government. This constitution, the one document that governs us all is ganito: sovereignty is with the people but since sovereignty cannot be exercised by all Filipinos, we elect representatives to congress then appoint by the appointing authority vested by government. Eh ako yung appointing authority… They want a council and [that] we share the same powers with them. That is the coalition government that they want. If that is what you want, then putulin na natin ito. I cannot give you what I do not own. It belongs to the people,” Duterte said.

“Sabi ko naman nga nagustuhan man ninyo ako [or] I may be a son of the b**** to the other. Elected man tayo ng tao, everybody respects us,” he added.

Meanwhile, the president asked for support from Cagayano local officials and the public during his rare visit in the province.

“I just want to give some respect sa paghihirap ng Pilipino, na kung anuman, every centavo should be spent for the people. Though I may not be able to deliver really the comforts you want but I assure you, that during my time, at least before I step down, eh kailan yun, maibigay ko yung komportableng buhay para sa lahat,” he said.

President Duterte earlier inspected Lal-lo airport. He flew past 6 PM to Davao City to meet with visitors from Middle East for a late dinner. Gerard Lucena and Benjie De Yro/ Northernforum.

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